Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

How appropriate, because I am on my way to a beach right now!  My reading goal for this trip is to read some of the books I’ve bought, but never read, specifically (I know you’re dying to know) “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” by Helen Simonson, “Ender’s Game,” “The Red Scarf” by Kate Furnivall, and “Crescent” by Diana Abu-Jaber.  I’ve been assured that I’ll enjoy Ender’s Game, and the others sound warm and fuzzy enough for a beach trip.  And if it turns out that I don’t like them, well, GUESS I HAVE TO BUY MORE BOOKS.

(Kevin is thrilled.)

For more reliable vacation reads, these are some of my favorites.

1. “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen.  Pretty much anything with an Oprah sticker is probably a good choice for a beach read, except that one memoir that the guy totally lied about.  I read this one after everyone and their mother’s book club recommended it to me, and I actually really enjoyed it.

2. “The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer.  I’m getting tired of writing out that title!  Will y’all just read it so I can stop suggesting it?

3. “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory.  This weighty historical romance is just the right size for a week at the beach.  Unless you’re a speed reader, in which case I cannot help you.

4. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  Blowing through these in a weekend at the beach sounds like a pretty stellar vacation to me.

5. “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.  It has its flaws, but it’s an enjoyable read.

6. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen.  There are very few occasions for which “Pride and Prejudice” is not a good choice.

7. “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  It’s one of those love-letters-to-books stories that have a soft spot in my heart, but I would really get a kick out of making someone shriek out loud, on the beach, at The Big Revelation at the end.

8. Anything by Michael Crichton.  Except “Airframe,” if you’re flying to your beach.  They shouldn’t even be allowed to sell that one in airport bookstores.  Besides that, “Congo,” “Jurassic Park,” or “Timeline” would all be entertaining brain-popcorn reads.

9. “Beneath a Marble Sky” by John Shors.  This would be a good fit with “Other Boleyn Girl,” since they have similar themes of royal intrigue, forbidden love, and happy(ish) endings in spite of everything.

10. Harry Potter.  Again, is there any occasion when “Harry Potter” isn’t a good pick?

What are your favorite beach reads?

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10 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads

  1. Guernsey – yes! I thought on that one too but forgot to put it on my list. The Help, WFE, and Hunger Games are some of my favorites too. And it’s my goal to read Harry Potter this summer – perfect for the summer or any time.
    Happy summer reading!

    • That’s a good idea! Reading is pretty much all I do at a beach, but that’s because it’s usually an Oregon beach where it’s too cold to do anything else. 😉

  2. The Hunger Games and The Other Boleyn Girl were on my list as well! I’m intrigued by your description of Beneath a Marble Sky and will have to check it out next time I’m at the library. 🙂

    P.S. Can’t wait to read your thoughts on Ender’s Game! It’s been a while since I read it…

    • Ender’s Game was SO GOOD. It kept shocking me, not just because Ender is so darn young, but because the story is so creepily current – using the Internet to manipulate politics, everyone having personal computers (I pictured Ipads), tension with Russia, etc. So good, so timeless, it’s awesome!

  3. Well, when I’m at the beach I’m usually out in the water getting mercilessly bashed around by waves…so I’m more likely to recommend some hotel-room reads, haha. But the concept is the same and I’m just being annoyingly literal, so never mind me.

    If you don’t mind nonfiction with your beach, I found Stiff by Mary Roach to be a fun, surprisingly entertaining sort of read, for all that it’s a book about cadavers and the history and general ethics of corpse use after death. Truly! Although there are some portions that talk about animal experimentation that upset me a bit. (Way more than any of the stuff about human bodies, really.) Earlier this year when I was in the mood for a romance novel, I really enjoyed A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh–it’s a really quick read, and has a fun twist on a fairly common trope, although this twist means that some of the characters’ motivations and dialogue at the beginning of the book are kind of confusing.

    • Beaches are pretty great for romance novels. Our rental house had a couple, including one that I think was called “Bride For Sale,” which was about a woman who goes to 1800s Seattle as a bride for auction. It was mostly hilariously bad, in that special romance-novel way, but then at the end her man literally does BUY her, and it gets into all kinds of creepy possessive language that we think was supposed to be romantic but was really just super skeezy.

      The other one was called “Blackthorn’s Bride” and the woman was dead-set on keeping a wild bear they’d found as a pet. In their house. Yeah.

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